Sharepoint Layouts Drive Me Nuts

Jun 16, 2009 at 5:55 PM


I have a requirement to take an existing sharepoint site and customize it so that the "home page" of the site gets has a different design, but the rest of the site remains the same.  I've read a lot on the internet about how to customize a site through layouts, but I am stymied impementing people's recommendations on my site.

My site is based on a "blank" template.  When I look for page layouts in Office Designer under the _catalogs\masterpage, all I see is the forms directory and default.master - I don't see any layout files to copy or modify.  What am I missing?

I understand how to modify a master page, and I understand the general relationship b/w page layouts and master pages (e.g. layout content placeholders on the master page, page layout defines the layout of the "Main" content placeholder with webzone parts etc.).  I think previously I just edited the default.aspx page to change the layout of a site - fine if you need *all pages* to inherit the same layout.   But in this case I need two different layouts within the same site.  Is this possible?

One idea I had was to create a new .aspx page next to default.aspx, change the layout in the new page, have the SP admin make that page the new "default" page for the site, then have links from that page to the default.aspx page to get the to the rest of the old site with the old layout and design.  Is this reasonable?

What am I missing?

Thanks in advance,